On Thursday, Israel commemorated its 1967 capture of East Jerusalem – an area where Jewish settlements and Arab home demolitions could complicate Palestinian aspirations for statehood.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the occasion to say he will never agree to divide control of Jerusalem.
"United Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,'' Netanyahu said. "Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours.''
That's not surprising to hear Netanyahu say, especially on Jerusalem Day. But virtually ruling out negotiations on the city could complicate the Obama administration's drive to restart peace talks with the Palestinians, who consider East Jerusalem the capital of their future state.
As the Monitor reported on Thursday, Israeli newspapers have said that, as part of President Obama's peace initiative expected to be unveiled in Cairo on June 4, the US will suggest that control over Jerusalem's holy sites be administered by the United Nations. That idea was floated in the 1947 UN partition plan but never implemented.